In fact just this morning, I got a call from Bev saying, "Holly, the doctor told me it is worse than she thought. There is still cancer in my breast and it's in the lymph nodes, too. They will be doing chemo and another surgery. I'm holding on to God's hand so tightly. Thank you all for carrying me and praying for me."
So as we look at the end of Wide Awake, please let's INVEST in some lives together and carry Bev and others, too, before Jesus. Anyone want to help pick up the mats of others with me in prayer?
Wide Awake has marked some parts of my thinking in a very good way. I love when a book brings Scripture to light and challenges my lazy brain to think about what God is saying between the pages of His Living and Active Word. Don't you?
Chapter 8 - Invest: The Romantic
By referencing the story in the Bible of the paralytic that was lowered down on his mat before Jesus, Erwin states, "If you live a life of self importance, you won't find many people who want to help you when your life starts falling apart. If you can move yourself out of the center and begin to give your life away to other people, you'll begin to find that those very people will rally around you when you need them the most. We have to make a personal commitment that our goals, ambitions and dreams will never overtake our value for people.
"We must change from relational consumers and become investors. We don't say it like this, but far too many people see people as just another commodity--another resource. Do you see people as something to be used for your benefit, to accomplish your goals, to help you achieve your success, and then to be disposed of? Or do you see people as a gift and a stewardship?"
How do you see people?
When I was a little girl, my favorite Bible story was about the paralytic man whose friends or perhaps even family took him up to the roof of the house and lowered him down, so Jesus could heal him. They were desperate to help this man! I really didn't grow up knowing a lot of Bible stories, but perhaps this one came from Vacation Bible School, and it set my young mind to picture who Jesus is.
First, I wondered why Jesus was so popular that they couldn't go straight in. Then I wondered what He thought of a man slowly descending on a mat from the ceiling. Did He smile because of their confidence in Him? Did He have a knowing look of the pain this man endured? Then I wondered what kind of friend or person this man was that they'd take such measures to help him. Finally, I wondered what kind of friends or family would go to such lengths...such a huge risk to be of help.
This makes me wonder how many people we take before Jesus to ask (intercede) for their healing? Are we bold and believing? Do we expect Him to answer? Then I wonder, are we the kind of friend others would take before Jesus? I think when it comes down to it, to be that kind of friend that others would go to great lengths for, we have to be that kind of friend, as well. Do you accept other people's prayers for you, but not pray for others yourself? I think the point of this story is to show that Jesus can forgive sins, and He can heal. The first matters the most. We truly do need Him to forgive us from our sins. But the second, He cares about, too. He wants to heal us physically as well as mentally and spiritually.
What do you need today? Ask Him! He's so BIG and His joy when we ask believingly is huge!
Imagine - The Human
Just steep in these good words over your life.
Erwin says, "If you are what you think, then who are you? Where you go in your imagination is very much who you are going to become. As you dream and as you imagine your life, you either expand the boundaries of who you can become or you establish paralyzing boundaries that constrict and press against you, limiting and narrowing the person you will become.
"Do you need to rethink who you are and who you will become? Maybe you need a fresh vision or a new voice in your life telling you who you really are--the gifts and talents, intelligence, and passions, the potential, the undiscovered uniqueness waiting dormant within you. The only One who knows this fully is the One who created you. The One who created you is the One who longs to awaken you. Your thoughts, your dreams, and the boldness of your imagination are defining you today and shaping who you will become tomorrow. Those thoughts and dreams are informed and influenced by the voices in our lives. It is God and God alone who sees your life without limits. Only He sees who you were created to become. Only He knows the real potential of your life. Wouldn't you want the person who believes the most in you and sees the most in you be the primary informer of your imagination?"
How has Wide Awake marked your thinking and your behavior?
I have truly enjoyed the challenges and new horizons of thinking that Erwin has introduced. Sometimes, I get in a box of my own comfort zone. And God is breaking every single box I create! He is the box. He is the container that holds my life together. He is my everything.
Were there some elements that you found hard to swallow? What were they and why did they affect you so?
There were areas where I read and thought, "Well, I'm not exactly on the same page." But it was not in difference with Erwin on a spiritual basis, on Biblical things. It was mainly just coming from different experiences in life and different challenges every day.
In two weeks, we'll begin the fictional story Sweet Caroline by Rachel Hauck. Then in late June, we will tackle Jennifer Strickland's Girl Perfect, an autobiography by a former international model, who found Christ and has never been the same. I know it will challenge some of my "stinkin' thinkin' " about body image and how God sees me. I cannot wait for the challenge!
Alright, Siestas, I'll see YOU in the comments.